The Basics of Fiddle Leaf Fig Care
(A.K.A FICUS LYRATA)
Caring for your fiddle leaf fig can be complex and overwhelming, especially if you are a first time plant owner. In fact, according to Claire Akin, author of The Fiddle Leaf Fig Expert (available on Amazon now), most fiddle leaf fig owners are first time plant owners! This creates a tricky situation, since ficus lyrata can be particular about their needs.
You may not know the basics of houseplant care or why good habits are important for your plant. Good care makes your plant stronger and more resistant to disease. And poor care creates a downward spiral of sickness and problems. If you’re having trouble with your plant, don’t give up! Follow these rules for a happy and healthy fiddle leaf fig.
Give it Plenty of Sunlight
Many fiddle leaf fig owners underestimate the amount of sun their plant needs. Native to Africa, fiddles love the sun. Place your plant in the sunniest area of your house, preferably in a south-facing window just out of direct sun.
Provide Adequate Drainage
Lack of drainage is one of the most common problems that fiddle leaf fig owners face. Without fast-draining soil and plenty of room to drain, root rot can start in a hurry.
A plant’s root system is the basis of its health. Many people are not aware, but to work properly, roots need both water and oxygen. Proper drainage allows your plant’s root system to breathe and stay healthy. Without adequate drainage, root rot can set in and kill your plant.
Don’t Drown Your Fiddle Leaf Fig
In addition to providing proper drainage, it’s important to let your plant’s soil dry out a bit between waterings. Too much water is one of the most common mistakes fiddle leaf fig owners make. Be aware of your plant’s water requirements and make sure you aren’t drowning your plant. Always err on the side of letting your fiddle leaf fig get too dry, instead of too wet.
Feed Your Plant Properly
Fiddle leaf fig plants require a lot of nutrients to grow their large leaves. Feed them with a liquid fertilizer like Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Food once a week, which is specially formulated with a NPK ratio of 3-1-2. Providing plenty of nutrients allows your plant to stay healthy and supports new growth.
Act Quickly if You See Trouble
Fiddle leaf fig plants are relatively slow growers, since their large leaves require a lot of energy to build. This makes treating ailments quickly even more important, since it takes them so long to recover from problems. Be sure to act quickly if you see brown spots, leaf drop, or an insect infestation.
Repot Every Few Years
If your fiddle leaf fig is healthy, its root system will begin to outgrow its pot in a few years. If you see roots growing near the bottom or edges of the pot, it may be time to repot to give your plant more space to grow. If you’ve reached your maximum container size, topdress instead of repotting, by removing the top four inches of soil and replacing with new soil.
Check on Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Every Week
The best way to take good care of your plant is to get to know it better. Take the time to check on your fiddle leaf fig every week. First, take a look a the soil to see if it’s wet or dry before you water. Look at the leaves for any signs of wilting or brown spots. Rotate your plant to make sure it gets even sunlight. Finally, take an overall assessment of your plant and make a note of any changes like new growth.
to Learn More about Fiddle Leaf Fig
For more information about fiddle leaf figs, you can:
join the Fiddle Leaf Fig Club: https://fiddleleaffigplant.com/join-the-fiddle-leaf-fig-club/
watch the Fiddle Leaf Fig Care 101 webinar: https://fiddleleaffigplant.com/joinwebinar
and get your copy of The Fiddle Leaf Fig Expert on Amazon now!
Claire is an expert on fiddle leaf fig plants, houseplants, and hybrid tea roses. She is the author of The Fiddle Leaf Fig Expert and an instructor at UCLA Extension. Follow @fiddleleaffigplantresource on Instagram